Searching for God in the desert place . . .

The life coach and counselor I see each week suggested to me that I am in a desert place. When you are in the desert all the rules you have previously known and understood change. It is a very different place. It is a place of challenge and possibly even death but it is also a place of discovery. It is a place where time is negotiable because you don’t know how long you will be here. There is time to explore and to discover new things and even time to learn to know God better. From this desert place I am trying to discern between the God I am discovering Him to be and making sure that I am not “inventing” or imagining Him to be something He is not. From within the safe confines of the church God looks very different then He does in the desert. I am astonished at His mercy and grace but probably most astonished by His long-suffering nature. When others may give up on you or not understand where you are God never gives up and He never leaves you even in the desert place. How wonderful it was to have this place described to me and then I remembered that at church last Sunday we sang this 15th Century Christmas Carol based on the words of Isaiah 35:1. “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice , and blossom as the rose.” The last verse was and is the cry of my heart even though I am in a desert place and that place can’t be understood by others my heart still longs for God and His grace. Here is the song and today I am living and praying the last stanza as I go through this day. May the peace of God be in the hearts of those I love. . . May we all live to see the Rose blooming in our desert places.

Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung.
It came, a floweret bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah ’twas foretold it, the Rose I have in mind;
With Mary we behold it, the virgin mother kind.
To show God’s love aright, she bore to men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!

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